I don't mean to offend. It's probably going to happen anyway.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

1001 values

Hat tip to MattG for the link to this. The 1001 rules for my Unborn Son remind me of a Led Zeppelin opener. "In the days of my youth I was taught what it means to be a man. And now I've reached that age I try to do all those things the best I can."

I read them all over the course of the afternoon, and by and large it's good, solid advice of the sort that I was raised under. Thanks Dad.

It got me thinking earlier though how to many it would seem 'Old-Fashioned.' This led into some broader thinking along the lines of nostalgia, and how everyone frets about the end of the 'good old days.' Quite contrary to Candide, it seems most people believe we live in the worse of two worlds. This notion goes back to Socrates, the Mahabharata, the Shahnameh and many others. Societies look back and say that what has passed was a greater time (with notable exception in rising empire, but that's another topic)

The retrospective is the ultimate rose colored glass though. Those people that we remember are indeed frequently good examples of the paradigms we hold in such high regard. On the other hand, we remember them for a reason. We remember the best of people, and the average and the bad slip into obscurity in history. The good old boys are worthy of your respect, but because they are good, not because they are old. Society today is not necessarily any more or less moral than any other time. People are just and have always been dissatisfied with the present.

On the other hand. To todays youth, and their parents: Read that list. The values in it are by and large still applicable and good. Live by them and teach them. We may not be in the worst of all possible worlds, but it can always be better. I know I will be saving that list.

1 comment:

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